Faith of Catholics stronger than Typhoon Haiyan: Filipino Bishops

The president of the Philippines Bishops' Conference issued a message to instill hope in a nation brought to its knees by the passage of Haiyan.

ucan
Philippines
Nov 13 2013, 3:38 PM
Faith of Catholics stronger than Typhoon Haiyan: Filipino Bishops
Archbishop Jose Palma

“No typhoon or flood will ever defeat the strength of the Filipinos, the cataclysm that has devastated the centre of the country may even be the worst the world has ever seen, but faith in God is even stronger," said Archbishop Jose Palma.

The president of the Philippines Bishops' Conference issued a message to instil hope in a nation brought to its knees by the passage of Haiyan.

Rescue teams have been looking for survivors even as some estimates said that typhoon Haiyen has caused over 20,000 deaths and affected 900,000 families. The head of the Philippines Red Cross described the devastation caused by Typhoon - renamed Yolanda on the archipelago - as "absolute pandemonium".

In his message, the prelate ensured the presence and participation of the entire Episcopal Conference in this time of trial and invited the faithful to turn to God "in this time of national calamity, as every Filipino has always done in the last 400 years." A novena of prayer will be held from November 11 to 19 across the country for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda and the earthquake that hit the same areas in recent weeks. Every Mass and prayer will be offered for the dead and comfort for their families. All parishes were invited to promote fundraising for emergency response and reconstruction.

In various parts of the Philippine archipelago homes, schools and even an airport have been destroyed or badly damaged. The international rescue machine has been set in motion, but there are still many difficulties in reaching the most isolated and remote areas, where the effects of the passage of the typhoon are not yet clear.

Rescue efforts are concentrated in the eastern province of Leyte, where the emergency is most serious. President Benigno Aquino has not ruled out the introduction of martial law or the declaration of a state of emergency in many parts as hooligans have already started looting, while unidentified victims are buried in mass graves.

The super-typhoon Haiyan hit more than 30 provinces in Philippines on Friday with winds exceeding 235 km/h and gusts that peaked at nearly 300 km/h. According to meteorologists Haiyan is the 25th typhoon of 2013 and the most powerful to have crossed land.

Haiyan has been downgraded to a tropical storm when it touched Vietnam near the border with China as its force has been greatly reduced.

Source: AsiaNews, Agenzia Fides

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